Mad Girl Eats Hot Krust in Orlando

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Hot Krust Panini Kitchen, 8015 Turkey Lake Rd, #200, Orlando, FL.  Next to Whole Foods.

Voted one of the Best New Restaurants in Orlando, it seemed only fitting I go see for myself what all the hullabaloo was about. Knowing nothing about the restaurant except for the name, I was intrigued. I love crust, and if it’s hot…even better!

I arrive at this very welcoming Panini sandwich shop. The menu was enticing with interesting combinations. The wonderful gentleman behind the counter explained their concept. Fresh gourmet ingredients, high quality products with NO preservatives, NO additives, NO Nitrates and No hormones. What? We’re in a sandwich joint, how can you make a sandwich without all that junk?! Fresh made, fresh roasted meats…that’s how!

I order their Burgernini “The Monster”, 8 ounces of All Natural 100% Angus burger, and a new item, the Black & Blue Reubenini made with slow cooked steak.  Beguiling! While waiting, I was brought a cup of their Signature Chili Cactus Soup, and a cup of Tomato Bisque. OMGoodness. I knew I was in for something special since both soups were FANTASTIC!

Not long after, the Panini arrive. The Burgernini “The Monster” was definitely named appropriately! It was big and beautiful. The Angus patty had potato inside, topped with BBQ-honey mustard sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese. It was perfectly cooked, ooey gooey, and dripping flavor for miles! a moaning “Wow”, was repeated from the first bite to the last. Sublime! The Black & Blue Reubenini looked fantastic with the cheese melting down the sides. Blue cheese, 1000 Island dressing, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese all on top of those savory bites of steak. Back-flipping awesome.

Their food is excellent, restaurant is clean and comfortable, and the staff is friendly, top-notch. I’m already scouring the menu to see what I can indulge in next visit! So many choices. Rock on, Hot Krust!

Hours: CLOSED Sundays, Open Mon – Fri 8:30am to 8pm, Sat 10:30am – 8:00pm.

http://hotkrust.com

Right off of I-4, at the corner of Turkey Lake Rd and Sand Lake Rd in the Whole Foods shopping center.

4.75 out of 5 fabulini Panini points of happiness!

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Mad Girl Eats Tako Cheena in Orlando

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Tako Cheena, 932 Mills Ave, Orlando, FL.

I had a hay-day ordering takos (tacos) off this Asian Mexican Latin swirly cool menu at Tako Cheena. I’m crazy for anything Asian BBQ, so some choices were easy, but I also heard they make a fab fish taco so let the taste testing begin!

They offer Daily Specials, from this, the Hawaiian chicken tako was ordered. A nice array of takos were chosen off the regular menu; Thai Peanut Chicken, Korean Beef, Asian Braised Beef, Panko Crusted Cod, Chinese BBQ Char Siu Pork Belly, and to round it out let’s try a Asian hot dog.

Hits: Korean Beef, with mixed cabbage sesame seed, cilantro and Kimchi slaw. Asian Braised Beef, pulled beef marinated in ginger, hoisin spice, with mixed cabbage, ginger scallion oil and cilantro (MY ULTIMATE FAVORITE). Chinese BBQ Char Siu Pork Belly, with mixed cabbage, cilantro, ginger scallion oil and crispy pork rind. Panko Crusted Cod, crunchy and light fish served in a sweet and sour onion sauce, with mixed cabbage and scallions. Plus the Daily Special, Hawaiian chicken tako. Absolutely packed with flavor. Addicted!!!

I love a sweet sauce, but if you don’t, order a side of their special sauces and salsa. They are only 33 cents, so order a few and max out your taste buds. The Asian hot dog (Chinese sweet sausage) wasn’t my thing , but I’m game to try a burrito and empanada next time!

Totally taken with Tako Cheena. It is on a busy street, parking is somewhat difficult, just go to a side street or back street and you’re golden. Small, quirky resto with about 8 tables, and a snack counter facing the picture window. Definitely worth going. Located in the Colonialtown neighborhood of downtown Orlando.

Take note of HOURS: Fri and Sat – 11:00am to 4:00am (great after bar time eats), Sun– 11:00am to 11:00pm, CLOSED MONDAYS, Tues Wed Thurs– 11:00am to 11:00pm.

http://TakoCheena.com

4.50 out of 5  freaking fantastic tako tastes of happiness.

Mad Girl Eats Central Grocery, New Orleans

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Central Grocery, 923 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA.

When visiting New Orleans, there are certain New Orleanean specialties you most definitely need to try. One of the most popular is the Muffuletta. A large round, sesame topped, almost focaccia dense ‘bun’. Inside are meats and cheeses, and an olive tapenade that sends this sandwich over the edge of righteousness. Central Grocery is home of the ORIGINAL MUFFULETTA, so why not try the sandwich where it was first created?!

Ok, Central Grocery is just that, a small old- timey Italian American working grocery store. They just happen to have a sandwich counter and a table and stools in back to eat at. Order, pay, and gather your food first, then make your way towards the table, it is family style seating. There is a soda machine back there to have a drink with your meal. There were two of us, and a normal Muffuletta is gigantic, so we opted for a half order and cut that in half. It was plenty!

Nice textured Italian bread, flavorful salami, ham and provolone, with their fab chunky olive salad to brighten and heighten the taste buds. A satisfying sandwich, however, I’d like a bit more meat. Many restaurants in New Orleans will offer a Muffuletta. If you’ve never had one, try the original first.

Long lines form during peak season, just be patient. Their website is uber basic.  Always call ahead for hours 504-523-1620.

4.25 out of 5 tasty tidbits of flavorful fun-in-a-bun.

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